3 Mar 2013

Israeli PM gets more time to form coalition

1:56 pm on 3 March 2013

President Shimon Peres gave Mr Netanyahu another two weeks, saying democracy takes effort.

His Likud-Beitenu alliance emerged as the biggest bloc in January's vote, but with a sharply reduced number of seats.

Mr Netanyahu has been unable to make a deal with potential coalition partners.

After the meeting with Mr Peres on Saturday, Mr Netanyahu said that some parties were boycotting others.

The centrist Yesh Atid party and the right-wing Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) are refusing to enter a coalition with ultra-Orthodox parties, who oppose their efforts to end military draft exemptions for students at religious seminaries.

The talks began after Israel's right-wing and centre-left blocs each secured 60 seats in the 120-member parliament (Knesset).